Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Those Protestants; up to no good as usual...

First some anonymous comment replies, because I've forgotten to do it for like the last 20 posts...
Cleo: Thanks for the Underwood-love!

Pogo: That painting was actually painted by me. I'll post a decent pic of it if I can remember...

Anonymous 1 from the first car post: I got the Cthulhu sticker on ebay, while trying to find this one I saw of a t-rex eating a Darwin and a Jesus Fish (and inside the t-rex it said, "shut up").

Anonymous 2: Glad I could make you laugh. :D And the alethiometer is still in my purse.
I think it's pretty much a security blanket at this point... I like shiny fancy things. 

Spooky's Darling: you are correct in the pronunciation of "Mich," since it's technically just "me." But you could go either way, since it also kind of refers to Michiru. :D

Em: Not creepy at all. I'll still be your nanny if you want. ;)

ArachneMorte: That was my pumpkin pie; thanks for the compliment!!

Almost ran out of vitamins* this weekend.

shut up

But new Vitamin-Friend is a muffin, and not only did he come through for me, he also DELIVERS. We have fallen into a system in which the only contact we have is through texting, and all transactions are conducted via my mailbox.

This became problematic Sunday night when I went to retrieve my prize at around 11.00. A dense fog had settled over Bergen County and my driveway looked like a scene from a horror film. And OF COURSE when I need to go to the mailbox, the raccoons decide to start some kind riot out the front garden.

Little Bro #2 texted me on Friday to see if I wanted to go see some band with him on Saturday. Since I hardly ever get to hang out with the Little Bros, I of course said yes. We had a good dinner (omg the ranchhouse salad was DELICIOUS) and the band was ok, and I was reminded why I never go out anymore because the place was filled with loud girls in offensively short skirts, and awkwardly drunk guys in lots of plaid.

We got home around midnight, and I went to bed with the intention of fleeing Dad's house before they could try and convince/guilt me into going to church with them. This plan failed, because Step-Mom woke me up Sunday morning to tell me that Little Bro #2 was playing the drums in the church's "band", and would I like to come to church with them to see him play?

Le sigh.

I'm completely tolerant of other people's religions. As far as I'm concerned, there is no right or wrong choice of religion. They're all more or less the same basic principles--something large and immortal created the planet and everything in it; and you shouldn't do bad things like killing people and stealing, and you'll can get some kind of reward in the next life. And I think it's great if you've found a faith that really makes you feel happy and fulfilled and junk. 


I'm not sure about everyone else, but I feel really awkward around other people's religions. It's like going over to someone's house on their laundry day, and sitting in their living room when the family's knickers are hanging up to dry on the clothes horse and on the radiators (probably not such a common occurrence in the States, but I'm sure you can imagine how awkward that would be...). You're sitting in your friend's living room just trying to hang out and have a good time, and trying to look anywhere but at your friend's mom's bright red Victoria's Secret wonderbra.

That's how I feel when I go out to eat with Dad & Co., and they say grace in the middle of the restaurant. Or when I'm spending the night and they do the family praying thing before bed (I hid in the bathroom for like 20 minutes Saturday night until I was certain they'd gone to bed). On Thanksgiving, I got the Evil Eye because I automatically crossed myself after Dad finished saying grace over Thanksgiving dinner (I cant help it; it's like a nervous tic).

A couple of friends have said they feel the same way, and they actually opined that it's because we were raised strictly Catholic. We've been conditioned to believe that all other religions are full of heresy. Especially the Protestants. 

The thing I dislike more than my father saying grace in the middle of a restaurant, more than the nightly family prayer, more than the forlorn look of disappointment he gives my religious jewelry, is going to church with them on Sundays.

I can't handle it.
so I just sink into my chair and pretend I'm invisible

The informality of the Service (I got told off for calling it "Mass"), the lack of any kind of art on the walls or windows, the constant leaping out of the chairs with "halleluja!" and "praise the LORD!!" from random churchgoers, the religious pop-rock, the powerpoint presentation projected over the cross, the table of coffee and breakfast pastries that people hang around during the service (blasphemers!!), the way they call their minister "Pastor" instead of THE pastor (that drives me extra nuts; I don't know why...).

I have nothing against it, but experiencing someone else's religion up close and personal like that is difficult. It's just so completely alien to me, and it goes against everything I was raised to believe about the practice of religion. YOU PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO OBVIOUSLY ENJOYING YOURSELVES.
we're going to be SMOTE because y'all are having fun

And it proves that the Catholic teachings have truly been perfected as far as Classical Conditioning, because even though I'm not a very devout Catholic and I don't go to Mass very often, attending my father's church always makes me want to run screaming across the street to their town's Catholic church and curl into a ball at the priest's feet, begging for forgiveness and psychically absorbing the nice calm, quiet, and very pious hymns.
I had one of Palestrina's madrigals playing on my ipod for most of the drive home, to make me relax.


I guess because religion really is such a personal thing? But it still bothers me that I get so bothered by daddy's church. If that makes sense. 



    Definitely a Catholic thing. :D I went to my hubby's family's church a bunch of times and was hyperventilating by the end of the service. Like YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG

    great post, as always. <3

  2. ...and Palestrina, is that where you came up with Hallestrina from the fairy book? I just realized that all 3 of them have slightly religious names...

  3. Omg i've missed you! Yeah, i do feel a little awkward if someone is really religious, coz i'm not, so it's like, you have to watch everything you say....i went to an uncles wedding once (everyone but me was EXTREMELY religious) And i went wearing all black and shit...everyone stared :D It was great! hahaha xx

  4. lmao im a protestant! but an english one, so not like shouty-outy and whatever, much closer to catholic in my oppinion :P as far as religion goes, catholic churches scare me (no offence) because its all like "the wrath of god" and im scared they will send me to hell :S and shouty-outy churches scare me, because, well not to be rude, but only carzies shout out in church! its a quiet place! and "pastor" i know its normal in america, but when english people say it i just want to scream at them! "no. NOOOO. its V.I.C.A.R.!!"

    rant over, sorry to spam your comments!

    other religions i like :) they are more interesting :) i think its bacuase we have spent the last 5 years studying various forms of christianity - after the first 3 it looses its interestingness!

    sorry again for the long ranty comment!
    lottie x

  5. My husband started rocking backwards and forwards and freaking out the one and only time we went to church haha I don't think you're alone. The brainwashing/large group of people doing/saying/singing the same thing tipped him over the edge. To each their own :)

    re: casserole dishes- I got them from the $2 asian store at my nearest market in Melbourne. I'm pretty sure they're made in china so you should be able to find something similar near you or on the net!
    I'm really glad to know I'm not the only one who needs dessert- now to get working on some more dessert recipes mmmm
    All the best xxx

  6. Hee, loving the great pic's, as usual.
    i used to be terrified to go back and visit the Mormon Church (still am, kind of), however, i actually got a little bored, last time i went with Mom. See, this guy was talking about how he had this goal to read the Book of Mormon (again) in so many days, but he didn't make it so he was calulating how many days it would take him to reach another date and it all turned it to some giant math problem and about then i could have used some jumping up and down and shouting. Their Bishop is lovely eye-candy though. If he's the same one as when i went!

    i love visiting other religions. Jewish worship is kinda nice. i want to go to Southern Baptist. Those folks really know how to get down to God....no falling asleep there!


  7. Oooh I love your shirt and your make-up looks fabulous in that picture.

    I love this post. I have the same problems with my Protestant in-laws. I want to genuflect before entering a pew and I feel like screaming "You'll go to hell, you'll go to hell" when they recieve the sacrament without benefit of confession. The austerity thing drives me bonkers too. And no Christ hanging from the cross either. And you're right, they're way too happy. One should leave church feeling guilty as it gives one an excuse to get piss drunk on Sunday night.

    I'm so glad you're posting again petal. I missed you so.


  8. So you like your church experience to be harsh and strict? I've never heard anyone talk of that as a preference before, do you have good memories of church that way or do you feel enjoyment cause church isn't enjoyable?
    Your life experiences are so different then mine! As I was left to choose my own beliefs I've worshiped at the church of sleep in on sundays my whole life!

  9. Great post as always Mich! Honestly that night out with your brother sounds like it would be a lot of fun although I can see why the other people who go to that type of thing might become tedious after a while in their company!

  10. Oh boy can I relate. Religion is just fucking weird. But also very very entertaining, a good friend of mine is baptist and I absolutely love going and watching everyone sing and dance and clap, its SO JOYFUL. I'm atheist and while I probably have no business judging religion I have VERY little tolerance for new agey things in places of worship. Powerpoints should not be in church, nor those tiny microphone headset so PASTOR knows EVERYONE heard him. Don't get me started on scientology.

  11. zomg. i totally agree on what you say about religion. sometimes i end up having to go to the mosque with my cousins who are religious muslims. it always feels so sickeningly horrid and awkward. =| x x x x

  12. Ugh, I hate when religion comes up at work. "Blah blah blah church was great! Blah blah blah we need to go mission to those nice Hispanic people blah blah they are (hushed whisper) CATHOLIC you know! Jess, what church did you say you went to?" Actually, I didn't say, because I don't go mainly because they seem to be filled with gossiping crazies like YOU guys. Intolerance bothers me, no matter the religion. So, yes, I understand.

  13. Ugh it sounds like a fucking megachurch. My formerly-cool-hippie uncle now goes to one since he made babby and I agree with you completely. As a formerly-fundamentalist Christian/now-pagan, THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HAVING THAT MUCH FUN. And the addition of stuff like powerpoints and Christian rock and marketing it to the younger generations makes me think of Christ and the temple of merchants where Jesus went batshit and destroyed it all.... Even though I'm not supposed to care anymore, lol.

  14. I love the guy at the end of your church row. He's feeling the holy spirit SO HARD!!!!!

  15. Glad someone else understands the period anoyance. Everyoe aroud me doesn't seem to be bothered by it.

    Don't have much to say on your religion topic, sorry. I feel like I should, but I just got nothing.


  16. I wasn't raised in a strictly religious family, so churches filled with people kinda creep me out a little. I love how they've all found something in common that makes them happy, but when they inevitably try to make me believe their brand of Deity!(tm) it makes me more than a little uncomfortable.

    I do love the music and the buildings. OMG G-Meister's wedding at the Basilica! Such amazing music! I utterly adore the music in Elfen Lied because it was based on Gregorian chants.

    You made perfect sense, as usual. Your eloquence makes me feel like a small, unwashed child with a snotty nose.

    I hope you're having fun in your winter wonderland! Take care and drive safe <3

  17. Omg, God from Monty Python! I swear he must really look like that! I totally agree, church can be some of the most awkward experiences. I should do a post about how I (a protestant) went to Catholic church (I enjoyed it by the way, but felt extremely out of place). Yep, the protestants (some denominations)are very, uh, loud in their worship! I'm also tolerant of other folk's religions- I find it interesting to know what other people believe and why they believe it.

  18. Totally feel you on this Mich. It's just so EMBARRASSING to see grown men hopping around the aisles clapping and hallelujah-ing. The New Age Christian Phenomenon, as I call it. As much as religion is clearly the root of all evil, I would much rather be present at a solemn, high church ritual any day than be subjected to the modern christian equivalent. I mean, one cannot deny the value of sacred choral music, but christian rock is...is...christ on a bike, it's just hideous! Ugh. (And my dad was a born again christian too for a few years...not sure where he's at anymore, but yes, the praying, the over-emotionality, the let's-do-things-as-a-family-even-though-I-have-been-a-c*nt-your-whole-life-previously...dreadful. Horrible. Just wrong.) Okay, rant over.

  19. My priests in Boston used to tell us we would immediately be condemned to eternal damnation if we even crossed the threshold of a protestant church. Seriously.

  20. that sounds like christmas/ any family get together at my fanatically religious aunt's house. It used to be one of my favourite places to be until the whole family went all evangelical on our asses and now I can't stand being there. It's kind of hard to enjoy christmas dinner when you're being told in one ear how you're going to hell for not accepting jesus christ as your lord and saviour and being asked in the other so, are you ready to be born again? I'm anglo-catholic (by tradition, not religion) and both concepts are completely foreign to me. I have also found though, and I'm curious if this has been your experience, that the traditionally catholic religions (including the anglicans and presbyterians) tend to be a lot more tolerant of other religions than the evangelicals do...

  21. I didn't read the other comments on this post, like I usually do, to make sure I'm not just saying what everyone else is saying, but here's what I think about this kind of situation--

    If I recall correctly, you’ve decided to borrow a little something from multiple religions to form your own unique belief system, which is fantastic. So what I recommend you do when you go to your father's church is take that time and connect with your own version of that Higher Power. Feed off the energy of the people around you, who are all having a bonding experience with their own “god”s. I know they don’t believe what you believe, and they don’t worship in the same way you worship, but it’s still beautiful, isn’t it? To be surrounded by people who love god? I used to feel uncomfortable going into churches when I was agnostic, even if it was just for a wedding. But now that I’m Hindu, I regularly go to Christian church services just to be around that energy. Ya know?


We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.